Massacring the Norm of an Armed Citizenry
by Paul Gallant, Alan Chwick, and Joanne D. Eisen
Scottsdale, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- Gun-prohibitionists know that the shock value of firearm-related mass murders can be used to their advantage.
According to anti-gun Australian public health professor, Simon Chapman, sensational mass murders committed with firearms, like the recent Arizona shootings, can be “critically important to possible advances in gun control policies….”
Chapman continued: “There is a great deal of advocacy that must take place before, immediately after and then well into the critical post-massacre period to ensure that community and political grief, outrage and anger translate into policy and law reform.”
In his 1998 book, Over Our Dead Bodies, Chapman laid out his ghoulish recipe for advancing civilian disarmament. And he was brazen enough to admit that we American gun-owners might view these exploitative attempts to capitalize on such events as a “vulture-like attitude to human tragedy, with advocates waiting patiently for…gun massacres so they might climb aboard community outrage and opportunistically capitalise on the misfortune of others.”
He was right; we believe that profiting from human tragedy by spreading fear and disinformation is evil and reprehensible.
Our Founding Fathers did not have to resort to advocacy to create a norm conducive to freedom: a gun culture. When they wrote the blueprint for our republic, they used their command of history, truth, and common sense. But in recent decades, lies were told, disguised as science, greatly damaging that culture.
Medical charlatans like Arthur Kellermann, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, produced a slew of junk-science studies which “proved” that people who live in households containing firearms were at great risk. Their friends and neighbors were in danger, as well. While these “scientific” papers were eventually refuted, the lies still stick, demonizing and marginalizing peaceable gun-owners.
Predictably, the Arizona massacre is deliberately being used to fuel the fear of firearms that has been built up over the years. That fear has shaped the state of our norm today — our norm now includes the raw fear and emotion dredged up by the Chapmans and the Kellermanns of the world.
Fear and suspicion is facilitated by the media, which keeps up a drumbeat of publicity. The Scientific American asked “How many massacres will it take for gutless politicians to stand up to gun nuts?” The NY Times asked “How Many Deaths Are Enough?” And the Kansas City Star demanded “Protect kids from gun owners and guns.”
We've let our American norm become so damaged that lies and uncommon sense prevail in any discussion after a mass public shooting. But we can we bring the focus back to the overwhelming benefits of our original American norm.
Prohibitionists will always have pictures of corpses and maimed victims to point to, when the discussion turns to the costs of private firearm possession. The recent statement by Dr. Gary Kleck, based on his and others' research — “making guns unavailable for self-defense can…cost lives…” — is almost impossible to use to counter the images.
But just as repetition of photos of corpses can create fear, familiarity with weapons can create respect. One of the first steps that must be taken with the firearm-ignorant is to introduce them to firearms, up close, and often. People would begin to understand that a gun is a controllable tool.
In order to do that, we need to be comfortable with the knowledge that our philosophy can stand firm without lies! Many gun-owners have been infected by the lie that a gun in the home presents a danger to that family — they suspect, but they cannot articulate, that a gun in the home creates a safer environment for their families and neighbors. These people are ashamed to discuss the gun in their closet, and that needs to change.
We all know knowledgeable gun-owners who ask why anyone needs high-capacity magazines, or “assault-weapons.” We've even heard them denigrate open-carry advocates. Are these gun-owners willing to slide down the slippery slope of compromise simply in order to appear “reasonable”? Or are they, too, ashamed of our norm?
In 1989, Bill Ruger wrote to all members of Congress stating that we should “prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines.” This was recently repeated by Bob Brown, a former Montana secretary of state and state Senate president, in an article from the Great Falls (Montana) Tribune , Proud NRA member thinks there should be limits on guns.” It's easy to understand why this only provides fodder to the media — how many rounds are just right? The global prohibitionists have stated that they would find it acceptable for us to possess a single-shot sporting weapon on the road to their gun-free society.
We have also recently heard other knowledgeable gun-owners parrot the media to express hysteria about the open-carry movement — our original norm. The media are referring to open-carry as foolish and dangerous, “a loophole that needs to be closed,” almost as if they know that constant visions of peaceable Americans carrying firearms is destructive to the prohibitionist agenda.
Are we embarrassed by proclaiming our sovereignty?
A tough job lies ahead of us. We need to conquer our weaknesses, even as we educate the public. The Founding Fathers understood one fact many have forgotten: a representative republic can only survive with an educated populace.
It is in the public's best interest to be educated, not driven by raw emotion. We are the only ones able to do so.
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